I am an independent crochet pattern designer. Which means, I design and write crochet patterns! I self publish my patterns independently. I’ve been doing this designing thing for 5 years now, and it’s the best! But there are a lot of things that people don’t understand about my job. So in my Wednesday live (1pm est on Instagram every Wed!) show, I shared 10 things that you may or may now know about being an Independent Pattern Designer! Hope you enjoy! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below!
1. It’s fun!
I get to use my creativity for a living! It’s a blast! I get to crochet and challenge myself and learn new things! I get to express myself every day! Being an independent pattern designer is so fun!
2. There is a LOT of math involved!
I hated math so much when I was growing up and was so certain that I would not have a job that required me to do math on a regular basis. Boy, was I wrong! Being a crochet pattern designer requires using math every single day. Grading sizes and even just figuring out stitches requires math! So I use math all the time! So much math! I still hate the actual math, but I love designing so much that I get over it and do it.
3. It looks different for everyone.
The designing process is different for everyone. There’s not really a right or wrong way to do things when you design. There are standards, yes, which you can find at www.craftyarncouncil.com, but each step is done differently by each designer. I personally don’t sketch out any of my designs before I create them. They just go straight from my head to my hook. Many designers, however, do sketch out their designs. Some designers work up samples of a bunch of different designs and then type them all up afterwards. I have to do one sample at a time, and immediately go type it up. Otherwise I get overwhelmed. The entire process is different for each person, which is what makes designing so amazing!
4. There are a lot of us!
There are a lot of crochet pattern designers! Just scroll the hashtag #crochet on Instagram for a few minutes! I’m certain there are a lot of knitting designers and sewing designers as well! But you know what? That’s okay! Every person has something amazing to bring to the world! Everyone! You, me, and everyone else! So that means each and every independent pattern designer has something amazing to bring to their craft! We all have different styles. We all excel in different parts of the craft. Some of us are better at written patterns, some are better at video tutorials! We all bring something great to this world!
5. We make mistakes!
Independent Pattern Designers are human! We miss things. I’ve had a pattern tested and tech edited and still managed to publish it with a mistake in it! It happens. We don’t like when it happens, but it does. So if you find a mistake in a pattern, please just politely reach out and let us know. I promise we will be happy to fix it!
6. It’s a SLOW process!
From the initial idea to release day, the process can be slow! Also growing as an independent pattern designer can be slow! There are many steps to both! You have to create the pattern, type it up, get it tech edited and/or tested, photograph it, and advertise! Sometimes it can take up to a month for me to publish a design! If you’re looking for something that is quick, this may not be for you!
7. It’s not just sitting and creating all day.
Some days, I just sit and crochet all day. But those days are few and far between. Most days are spent typing, posting on social media, emailing my list, listing patterns on Ravelry or Etsy, or adding content to my website. There’s just so much more to running an independent pattern designing business than just the creating part.
8. It is a constant learning process.
I am always learning new things. Things about crochet, photography, running my business, marketing, and more! Every day there’s a new marketing technique, or an easier way to explain a stitch, or a new app everyone is loving! It is a never-ending learning process!
9. It can get lonely.
I work from home all day, every day. I’m a home body so it’s not terrible most of the time. But every once in a while it does get lonely. Some days I never leave the house. Sometimes weeks go by before I hang out with friends or have a date with my husband. It takes some serious self-care and discipline to not only work when you need to work (which means sometimes you can’t go to lunch with the girlfriends), but also to stop working when it’s time to stop, and go spend some time with the people you love.
10. It’s hard to explain to people who aren’t in your craft community.
If I tell a crocheter that I’m a crochet pattern designer, he/she will know what I do. But if I tell someone who doesn’t crochet at all, they probably won’t have any idea exactly what I do. Many times, I’ve told friends or acquaintances what I do, and they think it means I sell finished crochet items. It sometimes takes a bit to help them understand the designing and pattern publishing part.
Here’s the actual video of the live segment from Wednesday, February 13th! If you have any questions, leave them below in the comments!
Michelle has been crocheting for over 8 years and has been designing crochet patterns for 6 of those years. She specializes in modern garments and accessories for your handmade wardrobe. Michelle has been featured in Happily Hooked Magazine, thehooknooklife.com, wecrochet.com, ourmakerlife.com, and several other websites. She is committed to providing the highest quality crochet information and patterns that instill a true feeling of pride, enjoyment, and accomplishment when completing a project.